I set like yours can provide insight into that question. Now that we have been focused and studying closely I think this is a June 1972 banjo. I did not set out to decode the Gretsch banjo serial numbering, but it seems clear to me the guitar approach which I did set out to solve may provide many answers on the banjo side. Any info anyone has would sure be appreciated. Regarding 85473 - this was a mistake by someone - I did already have this banjo included as 35473.
Thankfully, regardless of the series or point of manufacture, Fender decided to use a single serial number system for all post-2002 guitars. A batch of nearly a thousand serial number labels were misplaced, only to be rediscovered - and used - in 1965. Used on high end models like the Viking, Country Gent and Monkees. This only pertains the pre-Fender Korean-made guitars. After panographed, the engraving is filled with gold paint which quickly turns green and then black from playing. The Gretsch name was resurrected in 1988 for a series of inexpensive Traveling Wilburys commemorative guitars.
They can be found as late as Nov. He is also interested in banjos and has done a nice job solving the Gretsch branded banjo serial numbering system. See the end of our article if you're unsure whether your guitar is a '57 or a '65. Till now I´ve used f. I take my hat off for Richard E. Ed Ball is primarily a guitar-man.
I have spent the past 10 years decoding, translating, calibrating and discovering the many nuances of how the Brooklyn factory serialized their guitars. These catalogs although re-printed in some cases from year to year with limited changes do provide a timeline of when finishes were added and when hardware was used and or changed on drums. Gretsch serial numbers were sequential a la Martin from 1939 - 1966. Actually he died in 2005 and I bought them off his daughter - the drums had been stored for decaded. Fender Era: 2002 - Present Brand new Gretsch guitars seen hanging in shops today are the result of Fender's respect for the company's loyal fan base, an understanding of the Gretsch aesthetic and tight quality control. If you fill out and submit information about your drums via the page , I will try to help you to estimate the date of manufacture of your drums.
Many are Five-Digits so no issue. Pre-Baldwin Era: 1883 - 1967. However, I'm not going to be greedy, your wonderful work in assembling the Bacon data has suddenly proven very valuable to me. At the very least, if you only see three hard-to-read numbers, you can be fairly confident that it's a pre-war instrument. Oh Dear - I hope, that some more detailed infos will soon pop up.
I have seen the Gretsch Dixie in the 1954 Bronson Publishing Co. The quality of Grestch workmanship is not as good as Gibson and Epiphone instruments from the same period. While the situation isn't quite as bad as say, Gibson or Guild, this guide should be viewed as the best available consensus, not gospel. Sadly I´ve kept very few pics of the Post-Groton´s examples - for many years these weren´t within my main field of interest. That gives us three dates to work with to answer the question.
The Duojet, which has no hollowbody equivalent, is also collectable. I do see a subtle difference in the profile of the knobs you picture, but I do not know when such a change may have occurred. A confusing but known anomaly. Production continued in Arkansas until 1981 when Baldwin shut down guitar production. Here is the dating guide for 60's and 70's Ludwig Drums. The dating guide was written to provide tools to assist the drum owner to figure it out for themselves.
These 10,000 numbers span several months in mid-1966, which I have absolutely verified on the guitar side, with both features and dated potentiometer codes. Number on back of peghead, or on the top edge of the peghead prior to 1967 , no hypen in number. Used on Chet Atkins hollowbody models. Sometimes the serial number is impressed on the top edge of the peghead. White Falcon and Country Gentlemen also have their serial number on plate till 1965. However, if I understand your flat and sharp distinction, I think that Gretsch continued to use the flatter knobs throughout time on toms while they used both styles of knobs on snares, depending upon the model.
On most modern post-1989 Gretsch guitars, you'll find it on the back of the headstock. Early 1900s - 1970: New York City 1970 - 1979: Booneville, Arkansas 1979 - 1981: Various locations including Mexico. See for example my personal Symphonie 26020 attached. Also, thanks Ed Britt for the Rajah information. Here is the basis for my reassessment. Record keeping in the early days was spotty and it's uncertain which guitar is actually the first one, but these two were built within the first few months of Taylor Guitars production. There may be even later advertisements.